Send to

Choose Destination
Annu Rev Neurosci. 1999;22:487-509.

Molecular biology of odorant receptors in vertebrates.

Author information

Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021, USA.


The initial step in olfactory discrimination involves the interaction of odorous ligands with specific receptors on the surface of olfactory sensory neurons. The foundation for a molecular understanding of odor recognition in vertebrates was provided by the identification of a family of genes encoding putative odorant receptors, by Buck & Axel in 1991. Odorant receptor (OR) genes from the largest gene family in the vertebrate genome. This review summarizes progress over the past seven years. Major new insights are: Olfaction is accomplished in vertebrates by a very large number of receptors; olfactory sensory neurons express a small subset of the OR repertoire; in rat and mouse, axons of neurons expressing the same OR converge onto defined glomeruli in the olfactory bulb.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center